Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, July 20, 2017

MCPTT over LTE and Direct Mode
[Not quite] Mission Critical PTT over LTE is being tested and put into service for live network beta testing. Two things are missing from these trials and tests: a mission-critical or public safety-grade network for the Mission Critical Push-To-Talk application to run over and perhaps more importantly, the way forward to provide direct-mode communications. The UK’s LTE system for public safety to go live in 2020 and replace its existing Tetra system is probably, at the moment, the most robust of the existing LTE networks available.

Recently in France, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) held MCPTT testing sessions and a number of vendors participated to see how well they performed and if they met the 3GPP Release of LTE version 13, which includes specifications for on-network push-to-talk services but does not yet address the issue of direct-mode on and off-network communications. In many instances, direct-mode PTT is as important and in some instances, more important than network-based PTT services. While I recently wrote an Advocate about PTT over LTE and over Land Mobile Radio (LMR) that detailed some of this information, there are a number of things happening in Europe and especially the United Kingdom that could have far reaching effects on how and when PTT services are actually deployed over LTE on and off-network systems.  Read the full blog here Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, July 13, 2017

Location Services, When? The FCC has new rules for locating calls that come into the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), and eventually they will include a third dimension, that being height of the phone above ground. Sadly, the requirements imposed on the carriers for next-generation 9-1-1 are watered down from what is truly needed. I have been told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) relaxed its requirements at the request of carriers and the national carrier association. In any event, the new rules for incoming location are totally inadequate for locating citizen 9-1-1 callers and first responders who may be in trouble inside a building or other structure.

Further, while I have no visibility into the FirstNet state plans, I am told the requirement for better inbuilding location seems to indicate these services may not be implemented until 2022. This is too long to wait when there are technologies available today that can meet the most stringent of the public safety requirements and could be put into play much earlier. The FCC has been running test beds for several types of location-based services including GPS and cellular network-based, building a database of Wi-Fi hotspots, using beacons, and other types or combinations of technologies. It appears as though the systems approved by the FCC will be a blend of several different technologies for rural, suburban, and metro-area location services. As stated above, none of the FCC rules currently require anything close to what is needed by the public safety community. Read the entire article here Below is the weekly news courtesy of Discovery Patterns: Continue reading

Rinehart’s Regulatory Review June 2017, by Bette Rinehart

FCC Establishes Process for State “Opt-Out”

On June 19, FirstNet announced that it would be delivering to each state, via web portal, its proposal describing how it intends to build out the Radio Access Network (RAN). States will have 45 days to review the proposal and exchange feedback to FirstNet before the 90 day response period begins.  States who opt out of the FirstNet plan must submit their proposal to develop a state RAN to the FCC for that agency’s approval.  To get FCC approval, the state-proposed RAN must interoperate with the FirstNet broadband network.

This month the FCC established the timeline and process by which a state will notify the Commission of the decision to opt out as well as the FCC’s review process.

In the Report & Order the FCC determined:

  • FirstNet must notify the FCC of the date on which plans are delivered to a state or states
  • FCC must issue a Public Notice announcing the deadline by which the state or states must provide opt out notifications to FirstNet, NTIA and the FCC
  • States will have 90 days after receiving the final plan to review the FirstNet proposal and either accept it or opt out and build their own RAN.
    • Opt Out Notice must include certification that NTIA and FirstNet were notified
    • A special email address will be established for this purpose
  • Either the Governor or a designee may provide the notice
    • Governor must provide written notice of the delegation of authority
  • After opting out, the state has 180 days to:
    • Develop and issue an RFP providing for full deployment of the state RAN (not just development of a plan),
    • Receive firm bids in response to the RFP
    • Select a winning bidder
  • After selecting a winning bidder, the state has an additional 60 days to finalize their opt out plans
  • Opt out plans must be filed with the FCC within 240 days of the opt out notification
    • Filers may request confidential treatment of their Plan
  • Plans must address:
    • The four general subjects identified in the Act – construction, operation, maintenance and improvements of the state RAN
    • The two interoperability requirements set forth in the Act and
    • The Technical Advisory Board for First Responder Interoperability Report requirements for the RAN
  • The Plan must include a certification that the 180-day timeframe was met
  • The Plan must include a certification by the Governor or a designee, confirming the state’s adherence to FirstNet network policies relating to technical interoperability as well as to the Interoperability Board Report recommendations
  • Plans should follow the statute, have clear headers identifying each required element and an explanation as to how the state plan meets the requirements
    • Suggested headers are: Construction, Maintenance, Operation, Improvements of the RAN
    • Simply attaching the RFP will not be sufficient
  • Each filing will be treated as a separate restricted proceeding with the parties initially limited to the State, the NTIA and FirstNet
  • After the opt out period has elapsed, the FCC will release a Public Notice listing states which have opted out, each with a separate rulemaking proceeding
    • Parties other than the state, NTIA and FirstNet will have 30 days to ask to participate in the review of the state opt out plan.
      • Anyone making such a filing will have to explain why they are interested in the proceeding, how their participation would help the FCC in its review of the opt out plan and why their interests are not represented by either FirstNet, NTIA or the state.
  • The FCC will make an initial review (within 10 business days of filing if possible) of the opt out plans to ensure that they meet the filing criteria and issue one or more Public Notices announcing that the application has been “accepted for filing.”
    • The Accepted for Filing Public Notice will start the 90 day aspirational “shot clock” established by the FCC during which it must review and approve or dismiss the opt out plans
    • Within 15 days of the “accepted for filing Public Notice,” NITA, FirstNet and any others who have been granted party status in the proceeding must review and provide comments on the state opt out plan
    • The state will have 15 days to respond to any comments filed, by either amending their plan or filing reply comments
      • States may respond only to issues raised in Comments; they may not amend other areas of their plan
  • The FCC will suspend its 90-day “shot clock” only under special circumstances such as a national, state or local emergency that would require diversion of Commission resources to address the emergency.
  • FCC review of the opt out plans will be limited to:
    • The RAN elements (defined as cell site equipment, antennas and backhaul equipment) required to enable communications with subscriber devices using the PS broadband spectrum
    • Does the plan demonstrate compliance with the Interoperability Board’s requirements characterized as “SHALL”?
      • Those requirements were included in Attachment B of the Report & Order
  • The second prong of FCC review was to evaluate the interoperability of the state RAN with the PSBN.
    • FirstNet filed ex partes containing documents that they asked the FCC use when evaluating interoperability with the PSBN.
    • To obtain a full record, the Order requires the PSHSB to release a Public Notice providing a brief period for public comment on FirstNet’s proposals
    • Once the public input has been reviewed, the FCC will release a separate Order indicating which elements of the FirstNet proposal it will use to evaluate the opt out plans
  • States will not have to demonstrate interoperability in the field
  • FirstNet will not have to modify its network to suit a state plan
  • After completing the review of each state opt out plan received, the FCC will release a separate Public Notice for each request briefly describing the Commission’s decision.
  • NTIA will review elements related to coverage, financing, applications and equipment text of the Report & Order is available at:

Comment Sought on FirstNet’s Ex Parte Filings Related to State Opt Out Plan Requirements

Continue reading

Input Sought on VRS Interoperability Recon Petition

The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is seeking comment on a petition filed by Sorenson Communications LLC for partial reconsideration of the video relay service (VRS) interoperability order adopted by the agency earlier this year.  “Specifically, Sorenson requests that CGB reconsider the decision to require VRS providers to comply with the RUE Profile for communications with end-points using the Accessible Communications for Everyone (ACE) Application (ACE App).

In the alternative, Sorenson requests that the deadline for provider compliance with the RUE Profile be suspended until certain alleged problems with the RUE Profile and the ACE App are resolved and a certified-compliant ACE App is available for testing. Sorenson also asks CGB to address its assertion that the RUE Profile and the ACE App rely on Sorenson patents and require appropriate licensing arrangements,” the bureau said in a public notice released July 7.  Oppositions to the petition will be due 15 days after publication of a notice in the “Federal Register.”  Replies to oppositions will be due 10 days after oppositions are due in CG dockets 10-51 and 03-123.

Courtesy TRDaily

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, July 6, 2017

Getting Rural Broadband Right

The issues surrounding rural broadband coverage are many and I have been involved in studying them even prior to the formation of FirstNet. In fact, the Public Safety Alliance (PSA) used the lack of broadband coverage in congressional districts to convince some senators and representatives that by voting for what became FirstNet they would become heroes in their districts because their rural populations could then be served with broadband. In a Senate hearing on FirstNet in June of 2016, the Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee, Senator Wicker (R-MS), made it clear that rural coverage was a concern to him and other members of Congress.

In the FirstNet request for proposal Section J-1 Coverage and Capacity Definitions, FirstNet defined the coverage areas and types of coverage. In another section of the RFP, FirstNet required those responding to partner with and use rural carriers to help achieve the coverage goals. Now that AT&T has been awarded the contract and the state plans are being evaluated before becoming finalized, there are many questions regarding Public Safety coverage in rural areas of the United States. However, FirstNet and AT&T, like the rest of the organizations and groups pushing for broadband coverage in rural areas, seem to be going it alone. My view of the rural coverage issues is that until and unless there is synergy between all of the disparate programs and funding sources, Rural America will remain mostly underserved. Read the rest of the story here

Below is the week’s news recap from Discovery Patterns:

new LTE handheld device certified by AT&T, is FirstNet-ready4-Traders via Google Alerts
Jul  5 19:06 Motorola Solutions recently announced the availability of the LEX F10, a durable public-safety LTE handheld device that has been certified by AT&T …

FCC Requests Comment on FirstNet Interoperability MatrixMissionCritical
Jul  3 11:38 The FCC is seeking comment on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) proposal for interoperability compliance for states that opt out to build their own radio access networks (RANs). read more

FirstNet Meets With States on Individual Network PlansMeriTalk via Google Alerts
Jun 29 08:45 … with 24 states to discuss the nationwide high-speed data network for first responders that the agency plans deploy over a 25-year contract with AT&T …

June 2017 FCC Meeting Recap: FCC Adopts Rules to Govern State Opt-out of FirstNet PlanLexology via Google Alerts
Jun 29 05:50 AT&T will spend about $40 billion over the course of the contract. First responders will have priority and preemption rights of use on the Network.

CenturyLink wants to shed 7 legacy analog, low-speed data services in 24 statesFierceTelecom via Google Alerts
Jul  6 11:40 … and low-speed data services: Metallic, Telegraph, Narrowband, Wideband analog, Wideband Digital, Program Audio and Analog Video services.

Inside Vodacom’s new IoT lab – PhotosMyBroadband
Jul  6 09:40 Vodacom recently opened its Narrowband IoT Laboratory, aimed at commercialising IoT systems using the provider’s NB-IoT network.

Sky and Space Global: Constellations need relief on regulatory filing, insurance costSpace Intel Report via Google Alerts
Jul  6 08:25 PARIS Startup narrowband satellite constellation operator Sky and Space Global Ltd. was publicly traded before its first launch, and concluded its …

Webinar: LMR NarrowbandingUtilities Telecom Council via Google Alerts
Jul  6 08:00 Member Center. Member Center · Job Posting · Contact Us. Webinar: LMR Narrowbanding. July 6, 10:00 am. Webinar: LMR Narrowbanding. Archives.

Ubiquitous Low-Power Networks Up the IoT AnteIT Business Edge via Google Alerts
Jul  5 17:25 The carriers’ plan encompasses LoRa, LTE Cat M1 and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technologies. These approaches will create a nearly ubiquitous …

The Public Safety LTE & Mobile Broadband Market by Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies …Kenya’s Content Aggregator.The Breaking news Headliner via Google Alerts
Jul  5 06:55 China, Laos, Turkey and Kenya. Several early adopter Wireless Communications, Athonet, ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry…

IoT In Africa: SqwidNet Keen to Build Africa’s IoT Network via Google Alerts
Jul  5 05:11 The company is a subsidiary of Dark Fibre Africa and deploying an open access ultra-narrowband IoT (Internet of Things) radio network in South Africa …

Vodafone And Spark NZ Announce IoT Network PlansChannelNews via Google Alerts
Jul  4 23:20 Vodafone said it would add narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) support to its mobile network early in 2018. Spark unveiled plans for both NB-IoT and Cat-M1 on …

AT&T: it’s not “forced arbitration” because no one forced you to have broadbandBoing Boing via Google Alerts
Jul  4 15:25 AT&T, which has successfully lobbied state governments and the FCC to ban any broadband competition in the markets where it operates, says that its …

India added 60 million new internet users in 2016: via Google Alerts
Jul  4 11:20 While the users of broadband services surged in 2015-16, users of narrowband decreased by 40 million and migrated to broadband connection.

Huawei gets Internet recognition from GSMAPunch Newspapers via Google Alerts
Jul  4 09:15 Huawei’s Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT) solution has received the ‘Best Internet of Things Innovation for Mobile Networks’ award, issued by the GSM …

Globe Telecom strengthens broadband, mobile connectivity in via Google Alerts
Jul  4 04:35 To improve its mobile services in Cebu, Globe continues to ramp up deployment of LTE sites using the 700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands.

Everything US Citizens Need to Know about the Broadband Privacy RulesTripWire
Jul  3 13:01 An ongoing source of havoc among American internet users, the new FCC broadband rules are still encountering extreme criticism. The majority of support for the rules comes from congressional officials, who overturned the previously existing broadband rules and thereby gave unjustified favor to internet service providers. The new FCC rules are killing net neutrality, and […]…  Read More The post Everything US Citizens Need to Know about the Broadband Privacy Rules appeared first

TIM Brasil activates 4G on 700 MHz in 7 citiesTelecompaper via Google Alerts
Jul  3 10:11 TIM Brasil activated the 4G network in the 700 MHz band in Recife, Fortaleza, Maceio, Natal, Macapa, Boa Vista and Rio Branco, reports Diario de …



Parties Reiterate Concerns with Ligado Network

More than 20 parties with interests in GPS, satellite communications, and weather and other environmental data reiterated their concerns June 27 with Ligado Networks LLC’s proposed nationwide LTE network.

“We have read with interest recent FCC filings and statements in the press from Ligado claiming that virtually all of the opposition to its pending license modification application and request for rulemaking to utilize spectrum at 1675-1680 MHz have been resolved. Contrary to the assertions in Ligado’s FCC advocacy and recent media blitz, its proposed terrestrial operations continue to pose a significant interference risk to numerous parties that receive real-time weather and related environmental information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (‘NOAA’), certified GPS receivers and aeronautical safety SATCOM relied upon by the aviation industry, and Iridium’s 869,000 government and commercial subscribers,” said the ex parte filing in IB dockets 11-109 and 12-340.

“The risks to these critical services are very real and, consistent with the public interest, cannot be brushed aside,” the filing continued. “This is particularly true when contrasting the impact of interference on the services provided and/or depended on by the undersigned organizations with the highly uncertain benefits of Ligado’s proposal. For example, while Ligado is currently portraying itself as a hybrid satellite-terrestrial Internet of Things (‘IoT’) service provider, a recently released Ligado-commissioned economic analysis suggests that Ligado seeks the ability to sell its spectrum to the highest bidder, underscoring the uncertainty of any prospective value of the services it has on previous occasions suggested it may provide. As stated in the analysis, ‘Ligado and similarly-situated entities should be able to transfer spectrum interests in such a manner that entities that value spectrum more than Ligado can acquire it. … Clearer property rights [achieved by granting Ligado’s application] for spectrum would benefit not just Ligado but all parties with economic interests in spectrum.’” Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, June 22, 2017

State Plans Being Delivered On June 19, 2017, as promised, FirstNet and AT&T delivered the state plans three months ahead of what was required in the FirstNet RFP. The delivery of these plans was via a secure web portal that will be home to the plans and only accessible by authorized personnel in each state. The rest of us can view some of what is occurring and suggested coverage maps by going to the public site (.com, not .gov), a new site dedicated to FirstNet state plans.

FirstNet has already provided each of the State (single) Points of Contact (SPOCs) with the information they need for themselves and others they want to also have direct access to the state plan. The site is designed to provide information for those with an interest in FirstNet, the state plans, coverage, products, and services. also enables stakeholders not directly involved with the state plan to be able to learn more about what FirstNet and AT&T are offering the public safety community. Read the full version here . Today’s News from Discovery Patterns includes a number of different stories about the state plans as well as opt-out initiatives. I have included multiple stories to illustrate the differences between them and so our readers can get the best view of what is being reported. Continue reading